Are you tired? Are you reading this with a feeling that an extra few minutes (or longer) of sleep would have really helped this morning? Sleep deprivation is not ‘cool’ – despite the late night tweets of the US President, staying up late and then getting up next morning for work or school is not good for your health. Just how harmful sleeplessness can be is now only just beginning to emerge. Put simply, if you struggle to get out of bed in the morning, then the chances are that you didn’t have enough sleep the night before. Sleep deprivation is the term used for individuals who have 6 or less hours sleep. At this level, aside from the physiological impacts of sleep deprivation there are long-term negative consequences on our learning.
Research estimates that over 60% of British pupils are sleep deprived – and this figure worsens into teenage years (to the point whereby FE Colleges are beginning to trial late morning starts and later finishes to accommodate the sleep patterns of this age group). Pupils who have longer and ‘quality’ sleep are statistically likely to achieve higher marks at school. Conversely, pupils who are sleep deprived are likely to be emotionally more volatile and disruptive. Studies are currently underway to try and quantify just how much learning is lost through sleeplessness. The impact on learning is not just on the individual but on others in the class whose learning is negatively affected by those suffering from sleep deprivation.
We are all guilty of not preparing for a good night’s sleep. Do please consider limiting screen time ahead of bedtime, avoid sugary drinks and allow your body to relax (reading a book is always good). Physical activity during the day is also important – even a short daily stretch outside is important for our wellbeing. And if proof were needed of the dangers of working late or sleep deprivation, then read the aforementioned tweets of Donald Trump, sent early in the hours of the morning….
Outdoor Learning at HK School Set within 30 acres of mixed woodland in the heart of the Worcestershire countryside, at Heathfield Knoll